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"Put it back in the ocean. Don't you realise it'll cause a Tsumani?" : the power of wata no hara (the ocean plain) in gake no ue no ponyo

journal contribution
posted on 2017-10-13, 00:00 authored by Cassandra AthertonCassandra Atherton
While Gake no Ue no Ponyo2 opens with a brief establishing shot of five ships on the horizon, it is the moon and its reflection on the water that dominate the frame. In this expansive scene, the ships are specks, dwarfed and put into “perspective” by the moon and the ocean, two traditionally feminine personifications of nature. From this point, the film becomes, as Susan Bye identifies, “a visual paean to the beauty and fecundity of the sea—the deep sea, which is beyond the reach of destructive humans.”3 In this remarkable twenty-minute overture, a kind of oceanic fantasia unfolds. There is no dialogue, humans are not introduced: it is a celebration of nature in its purest, almost primordial form.

History

Journal

Japan Studies Review

Volume

21

Season

2017

Pagination

155-170

Location

Miami, Fla.

ISSN

1550-0713

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, Florida International University * Institute for Asian Studies

Publisher

Florida International University * Institute for Asian Studies

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